From the start, I wanted to use cloth nappies, but truth be told, there wasn’t any real reason. I just had this “feeling” that it would be better for my baby’s skin and better for our family.
I couldn’t fathom the waste associated with using something for a few hours, then throwing it away. This wasn’t because I actually had any idea about the impact of nappy choices. It was literally just a feeling. And perhaps also a little bit of pride, after my mother-in-law declared I wouldn’t keep at it!
As a parent, you’ll change your baby’s nappy up to 6000 times between birth and toilet training and if the sheer volume of changes makes you a little squeamish about the thought of buying and throwing away disposables, this blog post is for you!
Here are 3 superbly practical reasons for using cloth nappies (plus a bonus).
When a disposable nappy costs 30 cents and a cloth nappy costs around $30, it can be hard to see how using cloth will actually save you money… until you multiple the 30 cents x 6000 ($1800) and the $30 x 24 ($720)! Then it becomes an obvious choice… especially if you’re hoping for more than just the one baby to be able to use your cloth nappies on. Over the past 11 years with our 6 babies in cloth, we’ve saved over $10,000 at the supermarket checkout just by opting for reusable nappies.
Along with cloth nappies come a plethora of other reusable products for your baby – training pants, swim nappies, wipes – and these will all save you money in the long run.
Even when you factor in cost of laundry detergent, water and electricity to wash the nappies, you will STILL end up saving a TONNE over a period of time for a relatively small upfront investment.
Speaking of tonnes… have you ever wondered what happens to the neat little bundle of plastic and pee after it disappears into the garbage bin?
Here in Australia, we don’t often have to think about it again, because – unlike many European countries – we have plenty of land to fill. But that doesn’t mean we should be filling it with items that won’t break down in a hurry (if at all).
Estimates suggest it could take up to 500 years for a disposable nappy to decompose.* When you consider that a baby uses around 2000 nappies per year, that’s quite a few truckloads heading to landfill.
Disposable nappies are manufactured using chemicals that can cause reactions, allergies or just give them that uncomfortable feeling that only plastic on the bum can!
On the other hand, cloth nappies are breathable, allow for better air circulation and can be boosted to provide the absorbency your child needs.
In addition, cloth nappies are available in a range of gorgeous prints and styles, each designed to cater to specific needs of various children.
Washable cloth nappies are just that: washable! Which means you never have to do a midnight dash to the supermarket for nappies. If you struggle to keep on top of your current washing, just pop your nappies on at night when you go to bed, throw them on the line straight after breakfast, and they’ll be ready to go again by the afternoon. It’s kind of like magic!
Now over to you. What is YOUR top reason for choosing cloth nappies? Or if you haven’t yet taken the plunge… what would it take to convince you?
*Link, A. (2003) Disposable nappies: a case study in waste prevention. Women’s Environmental Network.
When uncertain economic times hit, the family budget often needs to be rejigged and if you've got babies in the house, one thing that can help is to make the switch to reusables.